TRENTON (CBSMiami/CNN) – Confusion and anger for many after two deputies were killed on Thursday in Florida.
The shooting took place at a restaurant in the town of Trenton, Florida, by a shooter who fired through a window and was found dead outside the business, the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.
The deputies were eating at the Ace China restaurant in the small town of Trenton when they were shot around 3 p.m.
Sheriff Bobby Schultz said Sgt. Noel Ramirez and Deputy Taylor Lindsey were killed by a “coward.”
Ramirez had been a law enforcement officer for seven years and Lindsey was 25 years old, the sheriff said.
The two deputies were men of integrity and loyalty, he said.
“They were the best of the best,” he said, adding later that “I can tell you that I loved them.”
Schultz told reporters he wanted to focus on telling the stories of the deputies while investigators began their work looking into the shooting.
“At this point, it remains an active criminal investigation with no apparent motive or indications as to why this tragedy occurred,” the department said on Facebook.
Sheriff Schultz has been on scene throughout the afternoon with his deputies and their families, notifying additional loved ones.
He spoke to the media early Thursday evening.
“Sargent Ramirez and Deputy Lindsey were the best of the best,” said Sheriff Schultz. “They were men of integrity, they were men of loyalty. They were God-fearing and they loved what they did.
“I don’t have answers as to why this happened, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will conclude and conduct their investigation at a time they see fit to release information.”
Clearly upset and shaken by the shooting, Schultz gave his opinion on the seemingly-random slaying of two law enforcement officers.
“We are not going to make this a political issue, other than the fact, what do you expect happen when you demonize law enforcement to the extent it’s been demonized,” he said. “Every type of hate, every type of put down that you can think of. The only thing these men were guilty of was protecting you and me. They just wanted something to eat and wanted to do their job.”
According to the department’s website, there are 14 full-time deputies in the patrol division.
Trenton, a town with 2,300 residents, is about 30 miles west of Gainesville.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company, contributed to this report)